February 2, 2013

"Doom Regeneration of the Mid-90s Self" by J. Fossenbell

[NIN – Babyland – Front 242]
“Fuck.”  –Amy Blue

“Teen is a four-letter word.”  –Movie tagline 

“Rose McGowan has a Pulp Fiction Uma Thurman-type haircut which looks great on her bored head.”  –Dr. Gore’s Movie Reviews
The Doom Generation kicks off in a red-lit room full of bodies that sweat and ram against each other to “Heresy” by NIN–a 15-year-old girl in Fort Collins, Colorado can hardly contain herself–she’s half-possessed by Amy’s self-possession–Amy’s red lips–Amy’s nice tits and combat boots–she wants her or she wants to be her–she doesn’t know–she doesn’t know.
“A cult classic.....steamy hot, wicked funny.”  -Clint Morris, Moviehole
Amy smokes and swears–Amy likes retro clothing and black–Amy likes to fuck–Amy is a bitch–an enigma–the mystery is what makes her. A 15-year-old girl in Fort Collins, Colorado smokes and swears–likes retro clothing and all things black–hasn’t fucked yet but thinks she likes making out hard–isn’t a bitch–just a brat.

February 1, 2013

"Kamikaze Girls" by Andrea Quinlan

“I want to fill myself only with sweet things"—so says Momoko, one of the two heroines of the Japanese film Kamikaze Girls. The film centres around the developing friendship of two very different teenage girls. Momoko is a seemingly self-obsessed girl who lives for the Lolita lifestyle, whilst Ichigo is a tough Yanki bikera member of an all girl gang called The Ponytailswho doesn't show her emotions.

January 31, 2013

"Blowing Up the Law: On Foxfire, Vigilante Feminism, & Abandoned Buildings of Their Own" by Becca Klaver for Jenny Harrington

If most of pop culture is still a flight of male fantasy, there are sometimes blips, tears, and portholes that give us a glimpse of worlds ruled by girls’ and women’s desires. The girl gang movie Foxfire (1996) was one of those rips in reality for me when I first saw it as a teenager. Rewatching it, I can’t tell anymore whether my high school friends and I modeled our lives after the movie (the bedrooms like vintage or wicca shops, the abandoned buildings broken into), or if a movie that looked like our lives somehow made its way to us in suburban Milwaukee.

January 30, 2013

"On Bell Book and Candle: Imaginary Resolution and Witchy Excess" by Joanna Penn Cooper

By way of context:  My mother’s favorite TV show as an adolescent was "Bewitched," and she is given to expressing her disapproval of the images of green, warty broom-riders that appear around Halloween as representing “nothing but ignorance and prejudice against witches.”  (She has, as far as I know, never thought of joining a coven, though, and once commented that she “can’t get on board with the camp element” that would be involved.)  This is all just to say that I was exposed to the movie Bell Book and Candle at a young age, and that it should come as no surprise that it has become the go-to holiday movie for my mother and me.  

January 29, 2013

"Kill Bill and the Death Code of Motherhood" by Elisabeth Workman

"The breakdown comes when you stop controlling yourself and want the release of a bloodbath." –Jenny Holzer
It should have come as no surprise to me, one December night in 2009, while I was sitting on the floor wrapping gifts but more--watching Kill Bill 2, that I suddenly knew I had to find out, with a stick of my own, if I was pregnant. I’ll explain.

 In one reading of the space baby at the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick presents us with our own infantilization by the industrial entertainment complex, by its coercive, inebriating nutrition, its hostage-taking narrative theme parks with their blockbuster maws. And, implicitly, by the sparkly immortal flotsam and jetsetsam that swirl around in its vortex. White Jeeps and blue dinners and flashes of pussy emerging from limos and diamond pianos (“They are real diamonds,” [he smiles] “And I’m glad you want to see them, cuz let’s face it—you bought em!” --Liberace on The Muppet Show), the buzzing paparazzi, the Brangelina, the Betty White, the Seal &/&-not Heidi, the great revolving doors of rehab spas #winning, and new coercive histories voiced-over by so-and-so channeling the event of Stephen Spielburg cockblocking Ken Burns, in which they end up fusing like a two-headed lamb to project a new contemporaneous voice-over on all of existence, the soundtrack a mash-up of theme songs from The Civil War and Close Encounters, gangnam style. Space trash.

January 28, 2013

"Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" by Sharon Mesmer

Russ Meyer's 1965 film Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! is a retelling, described in violence, of Louisa May Alcott's novel Little Women, published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869.  Tura Satana, the racially diverse (Japanese/Filipino/Cheyenne/Scots-Irish) actress, plays Varla, the ring leader of a trio of thrill-seeking go-go dancers racing their hot-rods in the California desert.  Her counterpart in Alcott's novel is hot-tempered Jo, whose forsaken dreams include fighting alongside her father in the Civil War and gaining fame as a writer of tabloid "sensation stories." 

January 27, 2013

"(500) Days of Summer: A Difficult Thing to See on Someone Else" by Jenny Sadre-Orafai


I went by myself and, being superstitious, took the 500 Days of Summer writers’ disclaimer at the beginning as a sure sign I should be there.

I cried once, during what might be the happiest part of the whole film. Day 35: Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) leaves his apartment after his relationship crosses into the “serious” with Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel). This was the first time I saw what it feels like when I’m in real love. It is over the top. Cartoon birds fly and land on your fingertips. It means high-fiving strangers and hugging them too.